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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2011 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1/22 TDIHs: Close Encounters and Closer Encounters

I hadn't listened to 1-22-78 in quite a while and your write up encouraged me to pay it a visit. Perhaps courting controversy here, I have to say that St Stephen sounded to me like a sloppy mess. It was just incoherent and all over the place, lacking the insistent, propulsive, declamatory vigour of the St Steves of ten years earlier. It's very much a young man's song and absolutely does not benefit from the addition of a female voice (not a Donna Jean knock, I mean any female voice). I honestly breathed a sigh of relief when I realized it was over and they had locked in to the solid pulse of the NFA riff.

From there to the end is fingerpopping good. The US Blues encore goes like gangbusters with Phil firing the bass like a pump-action shotgun. Got to love it.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jan 22, 2011 6:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1/22 TDIHs: Close Encounters and Closer Encounters

I agree that the early Stephens have a raw vigor that just isn't matched later. Even if they can also be sloppy, they're an excited, sincere sloppy that's going places and has something to SAY! And I think you're spot on about Donna (or a woman's voice). In fact, I think St Stephen needs Phil's voice in the mix to be at its best. Donna sweetens it a lot (when she's on), and that's awfully tasty, but I think I like Stephens best without sugar.

Still, I'm pretty inclined to enjoy things on their own terms, apple to apple, within their own era; heck, I even like the 83 Stephens. I haven't thought about which of the later Stephens would be among the strongest; a couple could be 6/9/77 and 5/8/77. (Though both are sandwiches; is that cheating?)

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2011 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1/22 TDIHs: Close Encounters and Closer Encounters

"In fact, I think St Stephen needs Phil's voice in the mix to be at its best."

I think pretty much all the early stuff benefits hugely from having Phil's vocals. Just yesterday, listening to the new Charlie Miller 10-23-71, I was thinking (not for the first time) what a huge contribution Phil was making to the overall 'feel' of the band's sound, with both the mid to low range bass playing and the high-end vocals. Songs like Cumberland Blues and Mexicali Blues, for example, are immeasurably better with Phil's voice prominent in the mix.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2011 7:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1/22 TDIHs: Close Encounters and Closer Encounters

If you like Phil's contributions, be sure to give the three StSt of early summer, 68, a listen (one AUD, poor of course, from 6-14-68; two on the "mystery four disks" selections) since it has Phil and NO Bob...I actually like what those ones sound like with heavy Jerry lead vocals, and just Phil on sparsely placed harmonies.

No knock on Bob, and of course, I love what it evolved into, both the "short & sweet" four min, fall 68 version, and the longer, winter/spr 69 (Live Dead) version, with ample, and often critical Bob contributions (what would we do without "...funniest thing I ever heard..." lines, eh?).

Hope all is well, pseudoCLIFFster!

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Poster: hasher Date: Jan 22, 2011 1:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1/22 TDIHs: Close Encounters and Closer Encounters

This whole thread has been great. Lots of interesting info.

In regards the the '78 St. Steve I think just about everything in that second set is spectacular. From Terrapin all the way to A&A. There could be small exceptions due to the unnecessarily long TOO and poor vocal harmonies on St.S but the playing is definetly inspired. When compared to the first set you just know 'something ' had to have gone on during the set break. I imagine someone in the band maybe more than one was extremely disappointed with the first set performance and maybe decided to light a fire under the band that may or may not have included something from Mickey's stash. Terrapin is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard with amazing work by Jerry done in the outro that seems to have the band beginning to coalesce like they had failed to do in the first set. The peaks the band hits on that St. St making them sound more like a symphony than a rock'n'roll band are simply breathtaking. Jerry's shredding solo early after the second vocals in NFA are similarly awe inspiring and its one of the few really rocking A&A's that I bother to listen to.

This show was the third show that completely solidified my feeling that the Grateful Dead are the greatest band that ever was. First, the live psychedelia blew me away. Then, I find out they got more soul than I've ever heard another band display(4/29/71 H2H). Then I heard this show, with the band sounding like an orchestra at times, just completely blew my mind. That's right, the first three shows I heard from this band were, LIVE/DEAD, 4/29/71, and 1/22/78. In that order over the span of about three months. Yeah that pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Didn't start this with the intention of writing so much. It just sorta spilled out. Please excuse my ramblings.

Long Live the Grateful Dead!

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Poster: portmcgroin Date: Jan 22, 2011 6:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1/22 TDIHs: Close Encounters and Closer Encounters

I listened to parts of the 4-29-71 today and the jam coming out of the drums after alligator is one of my favorite if not thee favorite moment in GD history. The tone and sounds coming out of Jerry's guitar are freaking amazing, He is playing at times like I don't give a F____ crazy, this is my guitar see what I can do with it, I have never heard anything like that before, steel drum sounds, then he gets quiet and beautful and Bob's fills are perfect. I don't ever see that show mentioned here not sure if because it's an official release or what.